After The Fire: A Look Inside Franklin Barbecue

The story of the fire that put what might be the world’s most famous barbecue joint temporarily out of commission.

Aaron Franklin was awoken by a phone call from general manager Benji Jacob at 5:37 a.m. He quickly dressed and arrived at the restaurant fifteen minutes later. Five fire trucks were already on site, and the fire was out by 6:08 a.m. As Franklin looked on from a rain-soaked sidewalk outside the smoking shell of a pit room, a couple approached him and asked for a selfie. He was too taken aback to decline.

Franklin Barbecue’s pit room was destroyed by fire on August 26, a Saturday morning. The vaunted barbecue joint—where hundreds of hungry patrons typically queue on a daily basis—has been closed since. We got an inside look at the damage caused by the fire and talked to people behind the scenes to understand what happened.